This is pretty cool, some love for BC beer on NBC’s Today Show:
It is almost Halloween, which most significantly means that it’s pumpkin ale season again. For those of you who aren’t familiar with pumpkin ales they are generally similar to amber ales, but are brewed with pumpkin added in some form. Many pumpkin ales also include the spices one would commonly find in pumpkin pie such as ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. In fact, I’d say most people find that pumpkin ales taste like pumpkin pie. It’s a taste that some don’t enjoy, but I for one am a bigger fan of pumpkin pie in a glass than on a plate.
Our BC brewers aren’t letting us down this year and are offering some tasty pumpkin ales. I’ve managed to collect the following four:
It seems that pumpkin ales are getting rather popular in BC because most of the above proved rather hard to find. Staking out Brewery Creek proved most effective, but I had to use the BC Liquor Store product finder to track down the Granville Island offering. I haven’t had any of the pumpkin ales I’ve procured just yet because I plan to compare them all side by side come Halloween, but I’ll be sure to post my findings.
There are a few other pumpkin ales out and about. Howe Sound released a small amount of their Pumpkineater Imperial Ale in bottles, but it sold out fast. However, I did notice it on tap at the Alibi Room earlier in the week. Steamworks also has their version of pumpkin ale on tap at their brewpub. Even if you don’t think you’ll like pumpkin ale, scare yourself this Halloween and give it a try.
This past weekend I traveled to Victoria with twelve guys for my friend Dave’s Bachelor party. We stayed at the historic Swans Hotel, home of the excellent Swans Buckerfields Brewery. Sadly, we were too busy engaging in debauchery to have a proper taste of the great beers available at Swans. We did make our way home laden with a few excellent bottles though. We did get to both The Canoe Club and Spinnakers Brewpub, one each night for dinner and some warmup beers. It wasn’t looking good for us when we showed up to a packed Canoe on Friday night with thirteen guys. Miraculously, we managed to conjure a thirteen man table in less than twenty minutes. We achieved a similar feat at Spinnakers on Saturday, this time in less than five minutes. We are still very proud of ourselves. I really enjoyed the beer and food at Canoe and Spinnakers, but must say I preferred both at Canoe
Needless to say, our weekend was not focused on beer tasting and I have no meaningful beer related tidbits to share, besides that we had a great time at the brewpubs. Our other activities included great rounds of golf at Cordova Bay and Olympic View, neither of which I had played before. Olympic View was particularly beautiful, not to mention challenging. We were a bit rough around the edges on Saturday and were lucky to have chosen a team format for the day’s round. This applied especially to Dave, who actually tossed his club a solid sixty yards on his first full swing, unintentionally. Not fully understanding the Victoria bar scene, we had less luck with our choices in nightlife venues. We had a decent time, but were unlucky to have been involved in an altercation on the first night. Turns out I can take a beer bottle to the head. Although you won’t believe me, no I did not do anything to deserve it. The second night, when Dave went out in his hot dog suit, was much more interesting. I’ll let you guess at what might have happened.
All and all, Victoria was a decent place for a stag. We’ve got another one coming up in Seattle and we’ll need to drink some beer. I’ll keep you posted.
Some pictures, back to my crappy iPhone camera again:
I’ve got back to back weekends coming up that involve beer travel and I am pretty excited about them.
This Saturday, Erik, guest contributor Peter, and I are heading down to Seattle for the Washington Cask Beer Festival. Their mouth watering lineup includes sixty one-of-a-kind beers brewed by thirty seven of Washington State’s illustrious brewers. My obsessive compulsive nature has me wanting to try each one. I am pretty sure this won’t be possible (or healthy), but we are staying the night, so I won’t be holding back. We are also going to eat at a few brewpubs and are planning a stop at Bottleworks, where I hope to find some rare gems. Because I don’t get down to Seattle much, I am really looking forward to this. Erik and I will definitely be writing about our upcoming adventure.
The following weekend, I and twelve of my friends are heading to Victoria for guest contributor Dave‘s stag. Having already done my homework, I booked us at Swans Hotel and we’ll definitely be visiting Canoe Club and Spinnakers also. A good portion of us are beer enthusiasts, but we’ll all be sampling the fresh and tasty wares of Victoria’s finest brewpubs before we paint the town red. We have rounds of golf at Cordova Bay and Olympic View booked and secured a hot dog suit for the weekend. This is as close to heaven on earth as it gets for me. Friends, beer, golf, and a hot dog suit, what more could a man want?
Last night I went to the Alibi Room with my friends Peter, Dave and Gavin. Erik was going to come, but he was busy roasting a chicken, it happens. Our visit came about because of comment’s Rick Green left on Dave’s guest post, wondering what Dave might think of the Alibi Room in comparison to Original Joe’s. It didn’t take much convincing to get a group out for beers after work, considering we are always up for some good merry making. That aside, the Alibi Room has a fantastic beer selection to tempt any enthusiast.
The Alibi Room has 19 taps of fresh, relatively local draught beer, plus many more bottled options, as well as the odd cask, all of which are in constant rotation. For a beer drinker, this is heaven. Not only do they have the best beer selection in BC, but there is always something new. In fact, the owner makes special trips to the island to pick up casks and kegs himself
I had a very hard time choosing what four beers to put into my “frat bat”. I ended up going for the Swans Cask ESB, Longwood “Batch 1000″ Doppelbock, Dix Texan Brown, and Steamworks Roggenweizen. I also sampled the Swans Extra IPA and ordered a pint of the Swans Cask ESB later on. I think we all enjoyed the Cask ale the most, but I was also particularly impressed with the Longwood Doppelbock. I didn’t care too much for the Roggenweizen (too spicy) or the Texan Brown, but neither are preferred styles of mine.
We also had some very tasty, reasonably priced food. After splitting some chicken wings and a cheese plate, we ordered two each of their roast beef sandwich special and their bison dip, which were both quite good. I planned to take some pictures of our glorious spread of beer and food, but I completely forgot until we’d pretty much finished everything to the last crumb/drop. Still, I have a picture of our empty plates and glasses, testament to the good times we shared with great food and beer at the Alibi Room. I hope we end up making this a regular after work occurrence!